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Computer scientists receive nearly $250k for state-of-the-art infrastructure

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Two researchers in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science have received John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The funding will provide them with infrastructure support to expand their research programs. The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, made the funding announcement in Sudbury today.

Maura Grossman • Apparatus for High-Recall Information Retrieval

photograph of Professor Maura GrossmanProfessor Maura Grossman received $68k to construct a bank of computer servers to expand the power and effectiveness of high-recall information retrieval systems. The objective of such technologies is to identify substantially all information relevant to a particular information need in massive data sets and high-volume data streams.

This task is especially important in areas where the consequences of missing or untimely results have serious implications — from legal and policy domains to health and safety arenas to defence and financial spheres, among others.

“Maura and her co-PI Gord Cormack will collaborate with public and private entities in Canada to improve competitiveness by allowing users of high-recall information retrieval systems to identify mission-critical information that would otherwise be difficult to find in a world where the amount of data is increasing at an incredible rate,” said Mark Giesbrecht, Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science.

Grossman's $68k JELF award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation is matched provincially by a $68k Ontario Research Fund – Research infrastructure (ORF-RI) award, bringing total infrastructure funding to $135k.

Edith Law • CrowdCurio: Infrastructure for Research-Oriented Crowdsourcing

Photograph of Professor Edith LawProfessor Edith Law received $55k to expand CrowdCurio, her research-oriented crowdsourcing platform. Science is increasingly data-intensive, yet many research tasks such as data collection, annotation and analysis are not fully automated by computers. Research-oriented crowdsourcing platforms connect and engage citizens and scientists over the world to collect and process data to solve pressing research questions.

The funds will broaden the capabilities of CrowdCurio through three systems — a platform development system consisting of a set of cloud-computing services, a field study system consisting of a set of mobile sensors and devices, and a data curation system consisting of high-volume and high-resolution digitization devices.

“The JELF funds will allow Edith to expand her crowdsourcing platform and help to establish a Canadian Centre for Citizen Engagement in Research that’s readily accessible by investigators in the natural, social and medical sciences,” Giesbrecht said.

Law's $55k JELF award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation is matched provincially by a $55k Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI) award, bringing total infrastructure funding to $110k.

John R. Evans Leaders Fund

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund was developed to help Canadian universities attract and retain top research talent. In this funding round, 10 researchers at the University of Waterloo received nearly $793k in infrastructure support. More information on the awards and the Canada Foundation for Innovation is available at

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